FASHION | I'm thankfully done with my 12-plus years of school, but when September rolls around I'm tempted to get outfitted. I miss the cool gear, especially the backpacks. And these days, with the help of Vancouver, B.C.-based HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO., backpacks are acceptable for hard-working adults as well as misbehaving school children. With this company, expect high-end materials, enough pockets for all your gadgets and a cute and simple enough design to impress your trendy friends. Average cost is $65.
BOOK | Author Jonathan Franzen has a lot of haters. But anyone who has made fans out of hard-ass book reviewers, as well as the American populace, is bound to have some detractors. This month, he finally releases his follow-up to the incredible 2010 Freedom, and it's yet another big, fat (576 pages) literary sensation. In PURITY, Franzen delves into the life of recent college graduate Purity "Pip" Tyler, reeling from student debt and a reclusive mother. When an internship in South America opens up, she jumps at the chance. As with all of Franzen's novels, intertwining characters leap from the page in vivid and depressing detail.
FOOD | There are many subscription box companies these days, but none let you treat yourself so literally as CANDY CLUB. The company claims to search the planet for the hard-to-find candies you wouldn't be likely to find at your local candy store. Just looking through their online selection will make you ravenous for all things sour, gummy, fruity and not at all good for you. Each month, a carefully curated box of 2 to 3 pounds of various sweets arrive at your door — you're sure to sing "I Want Candy" with glee. ♦